The Middle-Class Thief

SS Member Image By drodriguez 11.17.09
The Middle-Class Thief
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As the recession drags on there are new reports coming out about an increase in the shoplifting rate worldwide.  With more and more people out of jobs or taking pay cuts it seems some are finding it that much easier to justify a five-finger discount.  Though it may not seem like it to the thief, the ramifications of a rise in stolen goods will only hurt the consumer in the long run.

A recent article from Time magazine reports about a recent survey released from the Center for Retail Research that reveals shoplifting incidents are up by 6 percent this year which represents a whopping $115 billion in business losses.  The article also reports that the "new shoplifter" is surprisingly a member of the middle class and will most often steal things like expensive cheeses, mobile phones, and cosmetics. 

Joshua Bamfield, director of the Britain-based Center for Retail Research reports to Time why the middle-class are finding it easier to shoplift.  Bamfield says, "In addition to the usual criminals, you have lots of newcomers to stealing who figure they don’t run much risk at getting caught, won’t pay much of a price if they are and justify their actions on the hard times we’re all facing."

A recent survey also reveals that a good number of these new shoplifters do not steal out of necessity to feed their loved ones and they see nothing wrong with what they are doing as long as they take from larger corporations or fancy stores.  These people may not realize that in the long run we will all end up paying more for their actions.  As companies absorb the cost for the losses they take due to the increasing number of shoplifting they mark up the price of their products which ultimately will affect the consumer.

What do you think about the reports of the increase in shoplifting this year?

What do you think should be done to bring those numbers down?

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  • AimeeAken By AimeeAken
    12.03.09  

    It is a crime no matter what.. if you steal because your family is starving for food that might be a different matter, but stealing things that are NOT necessary? Like EXPENSIVE cheese.. not cheese. but EXPENSIVE..mobile phones and cosmetics? I mean come on.. unless you are one of those woman that can not go out of the house without make-up. there is no excuse for stealing .. especially for things you CAN live without. Please people. :P The world makes me sick....

  • idahospud By idahospud
    11.27.09  

    I work for a large retail store.Every time someone steals,they steal from my pocket(also known as my bonus) I become overjoyed when I can help catch one of these thieves,because I have yet to see someone steal food out of desperation.ALL of these criminals steal mostly makeup,CD,s,tons of electronic items and high dollar small items,so they can return them for money to supply their DRUG habbit.EVERY item I have seen stolen,has nothing to do with survival.Its all about greed.

  • joy9281 By joy9281
    11.25.09  

    People complain about the price of everything and I believe this is the real reason that things are priced so high. Including our healthcare costs. I people were honest and diod not steal or unfairly recieveassistance from program designed to help people in hard times we could afford things and we could give to charities more.

  • CHRISTINE24666 By CHRISTINE24666
    11.25.09  

    I don't agree with stealing but it is more understandable if someone steals a loaf of bread ect., to feed their family, but expensive cheeses? cosmetics and cell phones? how are these necessary life or death items to steal? There are ways to get items cheaply without having to resort to stealing.

  • Lusadi By Lusadi
    11.25.09  

    This has nothing to do with a bad economy and everything to do with bad morals. WIC, Food stamps, and other supports are available for those who truly need them for food. I think the rest goes to permissive, humanistic (It's okay to do if it seems okay to me) outlooks that permeate our society.

  • Larak12 By Larak12
    11.24.09  

    That is what bad economy does!

  • lovelifelisa By lovelifelisa
    11.24.09  

    lalaker101 says: It makes me so angry that we all have to pay for the crime as if the prices are not high enough already. I totally agree with lillia that you should use lots of coupons and wait for a good deal so you can have free or nearly free make up,food,or whatnot without commiting a crime. In Germany they would get there hands cut off for that.

  • lillia By lillia
    11.23.09  

    I just think this is wrong. Why would someone steal makeup. I live below the poverty level and would never steal. I use alot of coupons. I wait til the make up is clearanced and use coupons on top of it. I usually walk away with free make up without commiting a crime!

  • mothergoose62 By mothergoose62
    11.23.09  

    The problem is that it is going to get worse before it gets better simply because the economy is so bad.

  • lz12ranger By lz12ranger
    11.22.09  

    We need to get back to the simple basics that you must take responsibility for your own actions and that there are consequences for poor choices.

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